Introduction to Our Young Voices
For our fourth edition, we focused on Lincoln High School. I had help from several teachers as well as the principal in soliciting poetry and prose from students. It was, as always, difficult to select just five. Almost all the submissions I received were from poets. I selected five poems from four wonderful poets and there were multiple emails back and forth as we strove to make these poems as strong and detailed as they could be. These fine young women were both open to the necessary process of revision and willing to stand up for words and lines that were important to them. For some of them it will be their first publication. I don’t believe it will be the last for any of them.
These young women explore a variety of interesting topics, all with great attention to detail. We have three very different poems that involve rivers. In “Ephemeral,” fabulous imagery, as well as a mermaid, make for a very surprising scene by the grey Mississippi. In the marvelously simple language of “The Bridge,” we get a strong picture of a looming giant. In “The River,” the poet explores her incredible connection through personification. “Compost” delivers a clear and sweet picture of a girl digging in the dirt with her father. Finally, in “Chinese Mangoes,” four girls wake up on a humid night in Beijing and quench their thirst with mangoes. The imagery in this poem is so powerful that readers can practically taste the juicy fruit while reading.
Young Voices Editor